(Koshien, where rivalries are born… too much goosebumps in this video)
Koshien stadium, bask under the clear blue skies (or rain), always the dream of any highschooler to go and experience… Drums and chants going non-stop to support their teams and players. Spectators of around 40,000~50,000 watch these games to witness who the victor will be.
In Japan’s highschool Baseball, the sport has been widely known as the great game of respect and discipline… Oppositions bow to each other for a nice game and to wish one well. The sheer emotion… happiness and sadness, are present… players cry in this tourney.
Also, in each respective highschool Baseball teams, one have 3 or 5 team managers, girls, with one acting leader (mostly 3rd or 2nd year). They manage the equipment, ranging from cleaning, arranging, scouting, and even writing the team’s statistics… (Just this week, I watched the film “Moshidora“, a story about a highschool girl who becomes the team’s manager after her friend was hospitalized, trying to lead the team to Koshien just by using/reading Peter Drucker’s business book “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities and Practices… in which she bought mistakenly, truly… AWESOME movie). When there’s a mound visit, the coach will not go to mound… but a player, to encourage their fellow teammate…
The team also undergoes grueling practice before the upcoming game, non-stop practice. Sometimes lasting from morning to afternoon. Even when winter comes in HS Baseball teams in the northern part of Japan, those doesn’t stop them from training hard.
There’s also no DH in Japan’s highschool Baseball… and I tell you, the pitcher (mound) vs pitcher (plate) duel is one of the VERY BEST… match-ups, I have ever seen/witness in this tourney, when a pitcher is batting at the plate… Spectators young and old are screaming their lungs out to show their support, while the reserve (stat guys) ones tends to sit back and analyze the situation or what will happen next. Pitchers here in the tourney have been known how to handle the bat well, though the batting average isn’t really that high compared to their other teammates… They can hit for power and can mash up some homeruns like the others. In these couple of videos below, here are some memorable homeruns made by starting pitchers in the tourney I have remembered over this past 7 years, there were others but most of it have been deleted.
(Ace starting pitcher, Shinnosuke Ogasawara’s 9th inning blast against Sendai Ikuei ace starting pitcher Sato Sena to give Tokai Daigaku Fuzoku Sagami a 7-6 lead… Tokai Daigaku won the finals in this tourney last year)
(Ace starting pitcher, Shohei Otani’s homerun against Osaka Toin ace starting pitcher Shintaro Fujinami in the second inning during their highschool years… giving Hanamaki Higashi a 1-0 lead against Osaka back in 2012… The Otani/Fujinami rivalry is currently one of the most popular rivalries in Japan’s Baseball today)
Also, some pretty cool vids of Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka and Ichiro Suzuki’s HS Koshien years.